One of the things I love about WordPress blogs is the ability to make them whatever you want them to be. Need to build a portfolio site? WordPress can do it. Wanna build your own store from scratch? Woocommerce is at your service and essentially free.
All of my blogs have been WordPress sites, but I use them in different ways for different purposes. On Beige House I went into the different apps I use for lifestyle blogging. But today, I wanted to show you the apps and plugins I use to make this business/coaching blog run smoothly.
I should warn you that it’s going to seem like a LOT. But keep in mind that I’ve been blogging for over a decade and have accumulated a lot of these as I’ve gone. I also pick up a lot of great deals because of Appsumo.
WordPress Plugins I use for my blog
Thrive Themes is the main powerhouse behind this blog as it handles my lead generation, quizzes, and is the builder for different sales pages like Day 1 and my Coaching page. It’s made life way easy when it comes to creating effective sales funnels without having to do hard coding. I use it because it integrates with WordPress easily, but I admit I do miss the LeadDigits functionality of LeadPages.
MailerLite is my main newsletter service and I’ve been with them for a number of years. I’ve been on both MailChimp and ConvertKit before. And I feel like MailerLite does the equivalent amount of work without the restrictions, even on their free plans.
MeetFox is the app I use for Coaching calls and podcast interviews. It records both the video and audio easily. I prefer this over something like Zoom or Skype because of their encryption and their ability to handle scheduling with my calendars so I don’t have to think much about making sure my coaching calls are synced. Plus it sends my clients text reminders automatically which is a HUGE bonus.
Publitio houses all of the media files on this site and Beige House and has sped up both of my sites considerably. It also came in handy when I had to move the sites over to GreenGeeks as my old host has size limitations on exports. So moving all of those images and videos over to Pulibito saved me a TON of hassle. Before Publitio had their WordPress import option, I was using ShortPixel to compress my image files and reduce their load size.
This is something I’ve picked up recently so I can’t give a ton of insight into it. But Play.ht gives me the ability to create audio files of my blog posts via AI. I love the idea behind it (and their upcoming features) because now I can have more podcast content and offer another way to have my content out in the world without having to spend a ton of time recording it on my own.
I’ve had this plugin for years and it gives me so much peace of mind. This plugin automatically sends any images I want from a blog post over to my main Pinterest board as soon as the post publishes.
TastyPins is great, but I only use it for its hidden pins feature (which I cover more in this video). It offers the ability to have a number of different pinnable images without cluttering up the blog post.
UpDraft is the plugin my WordPress developer uses to back up my site and files. I have the Plus version which sends it over to a folder on Dropbox.
Last year I made a concerted effort to speed up my blogs. And this has been the caching plugin that has caused the least amount of headaches with my plugins and files.
This has been clutch for me, especially when I moved all of my files over to Publitio, as this plugin would auto-check every link to make sure my images weren’t broken. Unfortunately, most of them were 🙁 This plugin made it easy to both find and replace the URLs quickly, without having to go through every blog post and page.
Pretty links is the plugin I use to spruce up my affiliate links as it makes things much easier, especially when I’m using the same links over and over again. If you’re unfamiliar, often affiliate links will have some long string of numbers or letters so that the website you’re sending traffic to knows it’s coming from you. But with Pretty Links, I get to just change it to something like meganbrame.com/affiliatename. I also use these links over others in case something has to change (like a product URL changes) so that I don’t have to update the single post (or multiple posts). I just have to update the source URL in Pretty Links.
Elementor is a page builder that I’ve been using with my new theme template and it might end up replacing a lot of the work that ThriveThemes does when it comes to sales pages as I like that it integrates with my current aesthetic, whereas ThriveThemes makes each page more of a standalone. I upgraded to the Pro version for more customization options.
Gumroad is currently the payment processor I use for any downloads or e-books that are paid downloads. I’m currently moving these all over to Invanto though as I want to make everything available on the same platform and Invanto can handle courses and membership sites in addition to paid downloads.
I’ve mentioned RelayThat in a number of my workflow videos, but I love it because it creates a number of different templates for the same content. So when I need to make multiple pins for a blog post and want to have matching video thumbnails, Instagram images, etc., I can do it very quickly as opposed to when I was just using Photoshop.
I have Adobe’s photography plan and use Lightroom to import and quickly edit all of my images. Their “sync” feature is a godsend, especially when I was shooting hundreds of pieces of jewelry and needed each image to be edited or watermarked.
I use Tubebuddy to keep track of my YouTube channels as dedicating more effort to grow them has been a big goal for me this year. Their keyword planner is worth the cost alone.
SocialBee handles posts for my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and is the scheduler I use to pull in value-based content, in addition to my blog posts. It’s like Hootsuite or Buffer but I got a lifetime deal on it. And so, it’s saved me a lot of money and hassle.
MissingLettr is a GREAT tool that I use to keep my blog posts in rotation on social media. It creates a year's worth of Twitter and Facebook posts for each blog post and pushes them automatically. It’s also an upsell feature I offer for sponsored posts. So just FYI for bloggers who are looking for different perks they can add to their media kits!
I’ve used Quuu for both my blogs and for corporate accounts as I love that it pulls in curated niche content and saves me a ton of time looking for content to post for my social media followers. Quuu works with SocialBee so it sends content over automatically for me to approve, which I’ll usually do once a week. I’ve also used their Promote feature but don’t really find it’s done a lot for me as compared to focusing effort on improving SEO and social media engagement.
This is another one I’ve gotten recently so can’t give you a detailed insight into best practices for it. Metricool has a lot of great data features which the marketer in me absolutely LOVES. But I use it mostly for its Instagram link (paid accounts only) which allows me to add links directly to images I post in the feed, instead of just sending people to hunt on the blog for them. If they ever get autoposting approval from Instagram and Pinterest, I may get rid of Tailwind and Planoly, but we’ll see.
This is what I use for creating my Instagram posts. I’ve talked about why I love it so much, but essentially I’ve chosen Planoly over different apps because they can auto post directly to Instagram, offer 1st comment features, can store my hashtags, and can help me schedule Stories (though they can’t autopost those, I can still front load content like new blog post Stories and have it send me a reminder when it’s time to post).
I use Tailwind to handle the pin rotation and scheduling for both of my blogs. It has been SUCH a timesaver with both helping me get my content out there and find relevant content to post to my boards. The Tribes feature is a game-changer when it comes to getting your posts repinned by others.
Again, I know that seems like a bazillion dollars, but as I said I’ve gotten a lot of these for cheap because of Appsumo. And I’ve added to my collection of apps and plugins as I’ve gone along and grown my blogs.